Gujarat, India

11 January 2015

Secretary-General’s remarks at 10 MW Canal Top Solar Power Plant


Kem cho Gujarat vasiyo, Tamne maline anand thaiyo. [“I bring greetings to all people of Gujarat. It is wonderful to meet you.”] Dhanyavaad.

I am honoured to inaugurate this impressive project.

I am inspired for India and the world and I highly commend the vision and leadership of Prime Minister Modi, who started this impressive project when he was Chief Minister.

The sun has a special place in the Indian imagination.

The United Nations even recognizes the Indian Sun Temple Konârak as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

People of all faiths and all countries have for millennia appreciated the immense value and power of our sun.

But we have only just begun to harness the sun’s energy for the good of our planet and its people.

Looking out at the Canal Top Solar Power Plant, I saw more than glittering panels – I saw the future of India and the future of our world.

I saw India’s bright creativity, ingenuity and cutting-edge technology.

And I saw the leadership on sustainable development of Prime Minister Modi when he was the Chief Minister in Gujarat. Thank you for taking care of and carrying over this very impressive project under the leadership of Chief Minister Patel, and the Minister of Transport and Water Supply.

This facility demonstrates that one solution can have multiple benefits.

Solar power protects the environment. It creates development. It helps us conserve land. And it promotes health and prosperity.

More solar power means less pollution. And that will lead to cleaner air and healthier lives.

I welcome the Government’s recent announcement to dramatically scale up solar power to equal more than 10 percent of total energy mix by 2022.

I also commend the Indian Government for organizing the first renewable energy investors summit, called RE-Invest, next month in New Delhi. India offers immense opportunities to investors who, like its Prime Minister, are betting on a cleaner energy future.

In this regard, I have informed Prime Minister Modi this afternoon, that to support this RE-Invest and renewable energy, I am going to send my Special Envoy for Climate Change and SIDS, Michael Bloomberg, who was New York Mayor.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The right approach to energy can drive progress on all three pillars of sustainable development: economic dynamism, social progress and environmental sustainability.

To address extreme poverty we have to end energy poverty. And we cannot reduce the threat of climate change without transforming global energy systems.

I have an initiative to jumpstart this transformation. It is called Sustainable Energy for All. It brings together public and private partners. We are working to dramatically increase energy access. Our vision and target through this Sustainable Energy For All initiative is first of all to provide universal energy access to all seven billion people in the world by 2030, and double the energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy by 2030 - doubled,  in the global energy mix. And I'm very happy and encouraged that India is now taking the lead on the Sustainable Energy for all initiative.

We have an historic opportunity to transform our societies. This project shows us how.

I commend Prime Minister Modi for his commitment to dramatically scale up renewable energy. I applaud his pledge to light every household in India with a solar lightbulb. This is the kind of bold leadership the world needs to reap the benefits of the clean energy revolution.

I count on all partners to continue to support our common goals. Engage actively. Make commitments. Invest your resources and take action. Together, we can create a safer, more prosperous world for all.

Thank you for your very kind welcome and hospitality.  It is my first time to visit Gujarat and I am very much impressed by your natural beauty and also your strong commitment to work together with the United Nations.

Dhanyaawaad  ne aawjo. [“Thank you and goodbye.”]